If EVER you needed:
- Encouragement to make Taekwondo a part of your life
- Inspiration to help you achieve what you NEVER thought possible
- OR just that satisfyingly smug feeling that comes with knowing that as a member of the #Taekwondo tribe, YOU. ARE. AWESOME...
Then fix your fierce tiger glare on the list of incredible women below who have all attained dizzy heights in their chosen field or profession AND who just so happen to ALSO have a Black Belt or higher in Taekwondo.
Knock yourself out.
She is the first Australian female to receive an 8th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and Australia’s most prolific international medal winner. Grand Master Carmela Hartnett has had a prestigious competition career in both poomsae (patterns or forms) and sparring contests winning over 70 international medals across both forms. She has won the national championships an amazing 15 times, State Championships over 20 times and Commonwealth champion three times. In poomsae Carmela has won the TI World Championships twice. In 2000, Carmela was named in Australia's team of the Century by the National Governing Body, to honour the top 16 Taekwondo athletes ever produced in the country. In 2005 she was inducted into the National Athlete Hall of Fame. In between continuing to coach and referee at an elite level, Carmela also instructs weekly at her own classes in Perth.
She’s a Wall Street leader, the first female executive of US Stock Exchange operator Nasdaq AND a Taekwondo Black Belt. The Mortal Mouse is quietly chuffed to read that Adena decided to get involved in the sport after watching her children participate from an early age, figuring she would get off the sidelines and make it a family activity. Adena is widely quoted on the benefits her Taekwondo training has provided to her high level business role, in particular learning “self-reliance” and “leadership skills”.
South Korean athlete and first woman EVER to win three Olympic Taekwondo medals. Gold in 2004 and 2012 and Bronze in 2008.
Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Arlene Limas is a 5th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and Kung Fu and made history at the 1998 Seoul Olympics when she became the first American that year to win Olympic Gold. It was also the year, Taekwondo made its Olympic debut as an exhibition sport. She is undefeated nationally and a member of the Taekwondo Hall of Fame. Arlene is now runs her own martial arts school in Virginia.
6th Dan Black Belt from Scotland, World Taekwondo Champion six times, European Champion 15 times. In fact, her achievements are unparalleled in International Taekwondo Federation history! Julia retired from competition after 30 years in the sport in 2010 due to ongoing, career devastating hip injuries. Despite having had two hip replacements, she still teaches at her own full-time Taekwondo school of 160 students, travels all over the world teaching seminars AND works as a guest speaker to raise awareness about mental health issues having suffered depression after being forced to give up competing. Still a champion then!
Most famously known for her fierce Vikings series character Lagertha, Katheryn Winnick is a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Karate. She started martial arts at the age of 7 and by 13 had her first Black Belt. By 16 she had opened her first martial arts school and by 21, had opened another two. These days, in addition to her acting career, Katheryn has joined forces with brother Adam to further develop their dedicated women’s self defence academy in Toronta, Canada called Win Kai Self Defense.
A 21-year-old Taekwondo champion from Turkey who claimed gold at a 2016 World Taekwondo Championship in Peru. Her victory however was over-shadowed by her decision to compete wearing a hijab or headscarf. The decision sparked national conversation and Kubra unwittingly became a symbol of anti-discrimination in women’s sport, herself “disturbed” by the level of interest in her dress as opposed to her professional ability.
Actor Milla Jovovich has a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and has even passed her love of the sport onto her daughter who also began her Taekwondo training at just three years old. Milla is also trained in the use of martial arts weapons, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, Karate and Kickboxing.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
The American actor best-known for her lead role in the cult television series of the 90s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also has a Black Belt in Taekwondo. By all accounts, she undertook extensive martial arts training after receiving the role to help make her fight scenes more realistic.
Once quietly earning a living in computer software sales, 30-year-old Sloane Cameron is now a 4th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo AND recognised as the world’s BEST female power breaker. She became a powerful advocate for the advancement of women’s sport when in 2015, she was not allowed to compete in the power breaking world’s most prestigious competition in Korea because of her gender and was forced to lobby for change. In 2016, the decision was revisited and Sloane was able to compete. Sloane began her training at the age of 9, gaining her Black Belt in 1999. She currently holds the world record for women’s concrete and board foot power breaking and teaches at her new school Northwest Ninja Park in Oregon, USA – some of its most iconic obstacles featuring in American Ninja Warrior.
Tiffiny is an Australian journalist, author, television presenter, fitness coach and a 6th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo – one of the highest qualified female martial artists in the world for her age. Tiffiny’s parents, Martin and Jeanette, are highly qualified and recognised martial artists and run Halls Taekwondo – a dedicated training facility in Melbourne.